Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Steve(TX)

Posted by Gerald(DC) on February 10, 2007 at 13:06:28:

Volume is the key if flat fee listings are all that they do. Many companies automate the process and do extensive marketing.

For me, flat fee listings are just a supplement to my overall brokerage business and investing business.

Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Steve(TX)

Posted by Steve(TX) on December 13, 2006 at 13:57:45:

Has anyone used one of those flat fee MLS listing services, and, if so, if they had any good/bad experiences? I’m thinking of using one to sell one of my properties. After the fee for the serice, a sign, lockbox, etc., I figure I’ll be out about $600-$700, but that’s a lot better than paying the seeling agents 3%, which would be around $4,000.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by dewayne

Posted by dewayne on December 18, 2006 at 15:56:00:

My listing at 6% just expired,126 days/0 response.Open houses/fliers ect.Full service/Big firm.
I went FF on 11/21/06 and got my first call from Realtor 12/08/06 to preview.I have had 501 hits to date and $16,ooo.off the table and holding,FYI

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on December 14, 2006 at 17:18:24:

I use a flat fee service now and again.
It’s provided by a broker who also invests.
In fact, he posts here, but without his permission to mention him by name, I won’t
I agree with the others, some flat fee listing services might not be good, especially if you are not prepared to market and close the house yourself.

The one I use, we simply pay a fee, at close, to get the house listed on the mls service.
I do showings, as the mls lists my number for contact info, and the signs, lock box etc, are provided by me.
In fact, I’m closing on one tommorrow that we flat fee listed.
I had it FSBO for 45 days, and got nothing.
Listed it flat fee, dropped the price a little, and got a few offers within 10 days…eventually getting back to my original price.

Buyers agents brought me the offers, and will get 3% when it closes.
Same as they would from any other mls listed property, that was not their listing.

The reason my house sold fast, it was priced right, and had exposure on several fronts, with the mls being merely one…with the largest reach apprently.

Our buyers found it thru realtor.com and called a local agent to set up a showing.

I highly suggest using flat fee listings, but, only from a good broker with a decent reputation.
I even have a friend who is an agent, and he knows I list flat fee instead of with him for full commission.
Doesn’t bother him, because if he has buyers for any of my houses, he gets 3% from the sale.
I usually fax him my listings as soon as they are in the mls computer.

I will admit though, for upper end homes, I’ve not had luck with flat fee. They seem to require a little more special attention that only full service listings provide.

My two cents, keep the change,
Jim FL

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Mike (TN)

Posted by Mike (TN) on December 14, 2006 at 16:41:36:

I’ve used them and had mixed results. It depends on where you are. I can tell you that I am almost 100% certain that the realtors in my area would NOT show the property. I did not get a single call from a Realtor when I listed with a flat fee agency. I relist with a mainline Realtor, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW… all of a sudden other non-affiliated Realtors start calling about the property.

It is a bunch of BS. The cabal of anti-competitive Realtors should be punished. I would try a flat fee if you aren’t in a hurry, just to spite the cabal which should be crushed by anti-trust laws.

Negotiate the listing fee! - Posted by TKP, Houston

Posted by TKP, Houston on December 13, 2006 at 21:14:13:

Steve, there is no reason to pay 3% to the listing agent. Rates are negotiable. I have listed with ReMax Century21 and others for 1% or less. Even had a ReMax broker list for 0%. He lived in the neighborhood and wanted his sign in front of my house. Start haggling with the agents that work your area. TKP, Houston.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Killer Joe

Posted by Killer Joe on December 13, 2006 at 18:13:23:


Both my brother and my youngest daughter have sold houses using these methods. The key to remember when utilizing a service such as FFMLS is that the MERCHANDISE, or the TERMS must be standouts in the marketplace. You are selling RETAIL to an end buyer.

Most Realtor resistance is predicated on having to be the ironman on both sides of the deal if the seller starts sucking his/her thumb. When a listing Realtor is involved the paper gathering job is divided and its generally an easier task for the same pay.

If your merchandise is a very good property, or your terms are drop dead appealing, you stand a good chance of success with FFMLS, and I personally would try it first, JMHO. If your property will get lost in the crowd even through a listing agent, FFMLS exposure may not be your best route if you need to sell sooner rather than later. HTH


Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Judah hardmoney Hoover

Posted by Judah hardmoney Hoover on December 13, 2006 at 15:57:46:

I have tried these with mixed results. If you have a relation ship with a broker and he will list it for a low fee, great no one should be able to tell what is going on.

But WATCH OUT for outfits known as cut rate broker shops. Realtors see these as a threat to there business. And the realtors I know have admitted to steering buyers away from ?for sale by owner with realtor? type places.

Anything can work with the right house, priced right, in the right market, so it is hard to say ?they worked great for me? or ?I had trouble? because it could have just as easily been your price.

Judah Hard Money Hoover

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by DavidB

Posted by DavidB on December 13, 2006 at 15:45:09:

In the MLS you basically offer 2.5 to 3.0 % to buying agents, then? You
need to keep them motivated, but you are essentially eliminating the
other 2.5 to 3% typically going to the listing agent. That sounds pretty
good, but what do you miss out on? The only thing I can guess is that a
large realty firm might have other realtors in the office who might
bring buyers to your property so the realty firm gets both the buyer
and seller commission. Other than that, who needs the seller’s agent.
You can figure out market value and pricing and have a lawyer help
with the closing.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by R. James

Posted by R. James on December 13, 2006 at 14:33:08:

Am I missing something here? Are you paying anything for someone bringing a buyer or are you just paying the flat fee?

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by gerald(tx)

Posted by gerald(tx) on December 13, 2006 at 14:22:25:

It’s a pretty inexpensive way to get exposure. Actually, the cost should be less than your estimate.

My agent lists for $199, figure $25 for a good lockbox, you can get a professional sign made for around $50. Total of about $275.


Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by BTI

Posted by BTI on December 14, 2006 at 21:37:25:

What is a bunch of BS is you believe a person should not have a say so in what amount they are willing to work for. How much do you pay a realtor that doesn’t produce a buyer for you, nothing! Don’t want to use one then don’t use one.

Maybe we should pass laws that require agents should have to work for minimum wage and at the same time put real estate investors under the same laws. Actually a lot of agents would be better off getting minimum wage which is why 80% don’t last 2 years.

Many years ago 6 brokers in my area at the time got to talking and wondered what a closed transaction was actually costing them. Each of them opened up their records to be checked by the other 5 brokers and they found out the average transaction cost them 1%, plus the 3% to the co-op office, that left 2% which was cut in half by state, federal, and self-employment tax. At the time a study by one of the colleges came out revealing the selling agent spent an average of 167 hours per deal. The result was the thought that maybe they should forget percentages and go to a hourly fee plus expenses, to be paid whether the property sold or not, just like the attorneys that get paid if you go to jail, or the doctors that get paid if you die.

If you think they are grossly overpaid, get your license and get rich, of course you would have to work for it. I don’t know if your employed or not but if you boss asked you for a 33% or more paycut with the provision that you would only get your check if he got the results in the profit column he wanted, I’m sure you wouldn’t stay long.

But first lets punish that investor cabal and limit their profits to 3 or 4 thousand or maybe the amount of commission charged by the local discount broker, that’s enought money for what they do, maybe we can pass a new anti-trust law and get all these people that think they should get paid what they think they are worth, after all the next thing you know they will want the minimum wage increased or to just get paid for just showing up like many employees.


Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Bill Jacobsen

Posted by Bill Jacobsen on December 13, 2006 at 17:55:18:

It is natural to expect a broker to show their listings first and then others second. They may have a 6% listing and will want to sell it. If another agent brings the buyer then they will split the fee. Some flat fee brokers will give give the buyer’s agent less than going rate. That will hurt you.

Even if most buyers start the looking process on the internet they usually hook up with a buyer’s agent so you want to make sure that they are adequately paid. I usually pay the buyer’s agent more than the going rate or give them a bonus for closing earlier. It seems to work.

Bill Jacobsen

Good point, and… - Posted by Jack

Posted by Jack on December 13, 2006 at 16:58:38:

I’d like to add that some unscrupulous cut rate listers will only take the listing with the intent of double ending the sale, and will not return calls from other showing agents about the property and/or will bad mouth the property to other agents.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Tim J

Posted by Tim J on December 13, 2006 at 16:44:12:


I used to think the same way you have about the realtors boycotting these listings. Here is the problem, most people now start their search on the internet (realtor.com). So, if some agents will not show it, that is fine the people will find it through realtor.com. It happened that way twice for me.


Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Steve(TX)

Posted by Steve(TX) on December 13, 2006 at 16:16:28:

I’ve heard the same, but from what I read on some of these flat fee listing sites is that the listing looks no different from any other listing. Only the phone number that you give them is different. So, when a buyer’s agent calls, they don’t have a clue the person on the end of the line isn’t an agent. At least from what I understand from the web site. It makes it look like the agency contracted to actually put up your listing is the listing agent when in fact the number listed is yours. Again, this is what I gather from reading the info on the web site. That’s one of the reasons I posted my question.

Here’s how we do it - Posted by William R

Posted by William R on December 17, 2006 at 09:23:24:

We charge $499 for the MLS, nice sign w/ 24hr talking ad, lockbox, showings, paperwork. If you happen to secure buyer you owe nothing more than the $499. If buyers agent comes in with buyer or we find buyer, it’s 3% more. We are a discount brokerage and we have buyers agents from all the other big traditional firms bringing us buyers often. We offer at 3% commission and that seems to be the standard around here thus nobody avoids our listings.
Frankly with these low MLS fees I can’t believe how many people still use full fee agents. There are so many misconceptions out there amongst sellers who believe having so & so name on the listing actually matters. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s usually a no name buyers agent who happens to come along with a qualified buyer who buys the house. Discount MLS fees make sense to folks who have what I call “money sense”. These are the people referred to in the book The Millionaire Next Door. One of the reasons they have money is because they understand the value of time. For $499, or whatever the discount fee is, they see it as a value (which it is). For the price of a game console you get you property sold and don’t have to go through all those fsbo struggles and headaches (time) and then ultimately (97% of the time) end up listing with a Realtor to get it sold anyhow.
Also we have several investors who use us to sell. They too feel it’s money well spent. We make life easier for them.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Steve(TX)

Posted by Steve(TX) on December 13, 2006 at 16:11:00:

Right. The savings are the difference I would have paid for the selling agent’s commission (2.5-3%) minus the flat fee listing cost. I would still have to pay the standard 2.5-3% to the buyer’s agent.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Steve(TX)

Posted by Steve(TX) on December 13, 2006 at 14:32:04:

$199??? Do you work directly with the agent then (i.e., no service in-between)? The cheapest I’ve found online for my area in Texas is $395. They add another $100 for lockbox and something like $50 for a sign, for a total of almost $500.

Re: Flat fee MLS listing services? - Posted by Pit Bull

Posted by Pit Bull on December 15, 2006 at 10:16:21:

BTI this is absolute drivel!